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MANHATTAN, Kan. — The last time the University Massachusetts played here, the Minutemen mounted a second-half comeback that ended 4 points short of an upset.
That was in 2009, when UMass was a semi-frequent Football Championship Subdivision contender with a roster that included eight future NFL players.
Much has changed for UMass in the four years since: new coach, entirely new team, new conference, and new expectations following last season’s move to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
On Saturday, UMass showed some of the promise that comes with a roster made up of so many freshmen and sophomores.
In sophomore quarterback A.J. Doyle’s first start of the season, UMass took a 7-6 lead into the second quarter before succumbing, 37-7, to the speed, size, and experience of defending Big 12 champion Kansas State in front of 52,958 at sold-out Bill Snyder Family Stadium.